William Eichler 10 May 2019

‘Shockingly small’ number of councils embrace automation, study reveals

Research dealing with the adoption of new technology in the local government sector has revealed that fewer than 5% of councils have automation or AI projects underway.

Carried out by the Transformation Network, the study also found that the ‘vast majority’ of councils also have no plans for exploring Artificial Intelligence technology in the future.

The Transformation Network, which was launched last year to help the UK accelerate its digital shift, also ranked councils according to specific criteria such as the number of areas within the organisation that are using robotic process automation.

'Based on their findings from Freedom of Information requests placed Newcastle-Under-Lyme District Council at number one, whilst The London Borough of Hackney was the highest ranked council from the capital.

‘Local government is facing a perfect storm,’ said the former COO of Government Stephen Kelly.

‘Service demands have never been higher combined with acute financial pressures after recent years where opportunities for savings have already been made.

‘The best way to protect the future of local council services and the communities is through the smart use of technology, such as robotic process automation and AI.

‘Far from something to be feared, such technology can liberate employees from mundane, repetitive work and allow them to spend more time doing what people do best, and that’s providing front-line services to citizens.

‘There has never been a more exciting time to be leading an organisation, and I am sure that the CEO’s of these councils will step up to embrace the opportunities.’

Not every council responded to the FOI, but The Transformation Network are in the process of contacting all local authorities to get them correctly placed on the League Table.

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